Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/173022
Title: STATE OF THE ARTS : A STUDY OF DISCOURSE ON THE ARTS IN SINGAPORE
Authors: CHARLES CHER HIANG MENG
Issue Date: 1998
Citation: CHARLES CHER HIANG MENG (1998). STATE OF THE ARTS : A STUDY OF DISCOURSE ON THE ARTS IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis looks at the discourse on the arts within Singapore and how it has developed over the past decade. The arts is said to be something that subverts the given "reality" through aesthetic re-presentation, and as such is necessarily political. Meanwhile, the state, through hegemonic use of power, would always attempt to present a dominant "reality" which justifies and "naturalises" its authority. There is therefore a naturally tension-filled relationship between the arts and the state. In Singapore, the Government has in the past decade taken an increasing interest in the arts. It has tried to control the arts through several means. Firstly, the Government is directly or indirectly responsible for the funding of arts, as well as the housing of the various theatre groups. They are also the ''landlords" of virtually all the performance facilities such as auditoriums and rehearsal areas. This monopoly of facilities and funds, added to public entertainment licensing laws, gives the state the means to censor or censure any work of art, and as such, have direct power over the domain of the arts. Secondly, the Government has in public discourse attempted to subvert the arts. It defines the areas of political and social acceptability, and in doing so circumscribes the space for artistic expression. In doing so it prescribes what the arts should and should not be, and tries to change the meaning of the arts through discursive formation. In recent years, the Government has been trying to promote and sell "neutral arts”, either those that contribute to the formation of national identity (as desired by the state), or those which merely entertain and contribute to tourism.However, there are social, political and economic developments which have pressured the Government to allow the arts to have a more natural development. This means the arts may well continue to grow in ways which benefit the state as well as those which undermine it.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/173022
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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